Word has gotten out and people come from all over to get Brunswick stew when the Nokesville Ruritans get to cooking it up in 35- to 50-gallon cast iron kettles over open fires.
The Ruritans, who tended the kettles and stirred the stew with wooden paddles, guessed they have held the event for the last 12 years or so.
Club members start cooking the stew of pulled chicken and beef, lima beans, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and corn at about 4 a.m. on Saturdays on Fitzwater Drive in Nokesville. They usually advertise that it will be done, and ready for sale by 11 a.m.
Still, people show up early, just in case. Sometimes the club runs out and those in the know want to be there on time.
“We had one family here at 9:30,” said club member Ron Graves. “They waited in the parking lot. They were local.”
Others from out of the area plan their visits to coincide with Brunswick Stew Day and Graves said people from New Jersey, Williamsburg, Petersburg Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Maryland came to Nokesville Saturday to buy the stew for $6 a quart.
The Ruritans like to have enough stew to stay in business until at least 1 p.m. but some years demand outstrips the supply.
Ken Grymala said the Ruritans usually cook about 275 gallons.
Last year they sold out before 1 p.m., so they cooked more this year, said club member Rip Van Hinkle.
“This year, we had 10 pots instead of eight,” Van Hinkle said.
With people buying five to 10 quarts at time and others paying $6 for all-you-can-eat, the extra 60 to 80 gallons only lasted until about 1:30 p.m.
The all-you-can-eat price included a seat at a folding table beneath a tent, coffee, lemonade, homemade brownies, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie and Krispy Kreme doughnuts as well as a performance from the Bull Run Troubadours.
The Ruritans will use proceeds from the stew sales for charity.